March in State Representative Marcos Devers’ office began with a change of scenery. With the reopening of the State House in late February, Rep. Devers moved into the office space of the Transportation Committee, where he serves as Vice Chair. Rep. Devers continues to assist constituents with issues such as housing, unemployment, and transportation. For those who have questions or need assistance, Representative Devers can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Rep. Devers was active in Lawrence this month, attending several events with local nonprofits and city officials, including the signing ceremony to rebuild the Leahy School to celebrating the opening of Lawrence Veteran Services’ new Resource Center.
This month, the focus of the office was on preparations for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget process which will take place in April. Throughout the month, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, of which Rep. Devers is a part, held four hearings on the Governor’s FY’23 budget, which was submitted to the Legislature in late January. The hearings this month focused on economic development, housing, labor, health and human services, energy, the environment, transportation, education, local aid, public safety, and the judiciary.
In addition to attending Ways and Means Committee hearings about the state budget process, Representative Devers continued to develop his priorities for this year’s budget. By curating a list of budget priorities that will be beneficial to Lawrence, Representative Devers continues to garner support for programs and funding opportunities that will have a positive impact on his constituents and community. Additionally, this month, Representative Devers and his staff attended meetings with around a dozen local and state-wide organizations with programs in Lawrence regarding the budget process. Apart from the Joint Committee on Ways and Means hearings, Representative Devers attended one hearing of the Joint Committee on Transportation as well as meetings of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus (MBLLC) and the Gateway Cities Caucus.
It was a relatively busy month for the overall House of Representatives, as there were four Formal House Sessions held this month. On March 3rd, the House passed H.4515 (An Act advancing offshore wind and clean energy) with bipartisan support.
epresentative Devers voted in favor of the bill, which, if signed into law, would greatly change the offshore wind procurement process, generating more investment in the industry, modernizing the electrical grid, and furthering job growth. The legislation would also help the state achieve its requirement of zero net emissions by 2050.
During the second session, the House passed a supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2022. Representative Devers voted in favor of the legislation, and it passed, including quite a few amendments of which Representative Devers was a co-sponsor. These amendments included additional funding for vocational education opportunities, the Victim of Crime Act (VOCA) Bridge, language access, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
The third formal session of the House this month was called to discuss H.4554 and H.4555. Both bills were passed in unanimous votes of the House, with Representative Devers voting in favor with his colleagues. Each piece of legislation now goes to the Senate and Governor’s Office, and if approved, H.4554 will ban policies prohibiting natural hairstyles in schools, housing, and other businesses while H.4555 will create a task force to recommend what sites should be included in one of the country’s first women’s rights history trails.
Lastly, fourth Formal House Session was held on March 30th and gave legislators the opportunity to debate the state’s annual road funding bill. The House passed $200 million in Chapter 90 funding for repairs to municipal roads and bridges as well as $150 million for other transportation programs and projects. Representative Devers, as Vice Chair of the House Committee on Transportation, voted in favor of the bill and the legislation passed the House unanimously. ◊